After the Department of Commerce partially loosened the export embargo earlier in the day, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) allowed 1,67,211 tonnes of wheat to be loaded on four partially laden vessels at Kandla port on Tuesday.
According to traders, the May 13 directive relaxing the prohibition on wheat exports will likely allow 400,000-500,000 tonnes of grain trapped at ports to be moved out swiftly.
They estimate that another 300,000 tonnes of wheat will be shipped through a government exemption for quantities already contracted against a letter of credit (LC), bringing the total shipment to over 800,000 tonnes after the prohibition.
Before the May 13 prohibition, the four vessels that were allowed to transport more wheat had already loaded 80,368 tonnes. The MV XIN YI HAI will transport 55,000 tonnes to Brazil; the MV JAG RADHA will transport 57,000 tonnes to Bangladesh; the MV VALLIANT SUMMER will transport 66,000 tonnes to Oman; and the MV PHAEDRA will transport 69,579 tonnes to Indonesia.
They claim that this is insufficient to clear all of the vehicles stuck at ports or warehouses, and they have requested government assistance, noting that shipments were contracted on a cash-on-delivery basis.
Only 20-25 percent of overall wheat export contracts are believed to have been inked against the LCs, according to trade estimates.
"We've requested a meeting with the trade minister to get approval for all the cargo in route," Rajesh Jain Paharia said.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has begun compiling information on the entire quantity of wheat for which LCs have been issued by various banks, as well as the quantity of wheat for which Customs registration has been completed by May 13.
The Department of Commerce offered considerable leeway in its May 13 export prohibition letter on Tuesday. Wheat consignments handed over to Customs for inspection and registration into their systems before May 13 will be allowed to be exported, according to the statement.
A wheat consignment bound for Egypt that was already being loaded at the Kandla port will also be authorised, following a request from the Egyptian administration.
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